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Old 09-28-2009, 04:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Creationism.

Now I am recently gaining an understanding that I had never realized before and would like to expand on it, understand it further.

Creationism is an American belief?

Now being an American (of the United States) I must say I did grow up in this culture and with this belief. Seven days, G!d said this, did that etc.

And my Jewish friends had this calendar that was started at that first day of creation. And I had friends who told us the world was less than 10,000 years old. And then we had school and science and then talked about the 'monkey trials'

Now as I grew up and learned more while the science was winning out over the creation story, I thought the creation story was a universal belief amongst Christians, Jews and Muslims.


So my questions are:
  1. When did the world decide Genesis and Revelation are entirely metaphor and not to be read litterally? (as taught by a practicing Roman Catholic Priest at Loyola University, a Jesuit School)
  2. When and how did the US start down the creationsim path?
  3. And is this an American phenomenon or a United States Phenomenon?
If you would it would help all reading if you'd state the country from which you are extolling your thoughts...
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Old 09-28-2009, 06:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Creationism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wil View Post
So my questions are:

When did the world decide Genesis and Revelation are entirely metaphor and not to be read litterally? (as taught by a practicing Roman Catholic Priest at Loyola University, a Jesuit School)
From the very beginning. There has always been the Fourfold Interpretation of Scripture: the literal sense, and the three spiritual senses: the moral sense, the analogical sense, and the anagogical sense. The Jews likewise have a fourfold reading ... Origen was famous for his interpretations.

In the Patristic Tradition ó following immediately from the Age of the Apostles, some fathers treated the account of the Creation in Genesis as a figurative text, others as a literal text. There was and there has never been a dogmatic statement either way.

What is dogmatically stated, by Vatican II in Dei Verbum:
"The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit."
The key term is 'in' ó not that every word is revealed, but that the text contains divine Revelation.

The Christian faith is not a "religion of the book." Christianity is the religion of the "Word" of God, a word which is "not a written and mute word, but the Word is incarnate and living". If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, "open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures."

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When and how did the US start down the creationism path?
Lord knows ... Christian Fundamentalism, it seems to me.

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Originally Posted by wil View Post
And is this an American phenomenon or a United States Phenomenon?
Not sure of the difference? But it does seem primarily to be in the US.

There is a guideline document The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church which covers the topic in detail.

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Old 09-28-2009, 07:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Creationism.

Namaste and thanx Thomas,

To clarify, the difference I am making between American and US is North and South America and all their countries (the new world) vs. the United States.

Growing up here, and knowing folks from Mexico and Canada and some South American immigrants, it seemed to me most followed the line of Creationism, they may have argued what a day meant, but still read it litterally as there was a Garden of Eden physically and an Adam and Eve, etc.
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Old 09-29-2009, 04:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Creationism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wil View Post
Now I am recently gaining an understanding that I had never realized before and would like to expand on it, understand it further.

Creationism is an American belief?

Now being an American (of the United States) I must say I did grow up in this culture and with this belief. Seven days, G!d said this, did that etc.

And my Jewish friends had this calendar that was started at that first day of creation. And I had friends who told us the world was less than 10,000 years old. And then we had school and science and then talked about the 'monkey trials'

Now as I grew up and learned more while the science was winning out over the creation story, I thought the creation story was a universal belief amongst Christians, Jews and Muslims.


So my questions are:
  1. When did the world decide Genesis and Revelation are entirely metaphor and not to be read litterally? (as taught by a practicing Roman Catholic Priest at Loyola University, a Jesuit School)
  2. When and how did the US start down the creationsim path?
  3. And is this an American phenomenon or a United States Phenomenon?
If you would it would help all reading if you'd state the country from which you are extolling your thoughts...

Boiling down the Bibleís creation account to a question of whether or not it is literal likely misses the true historical, theological and scientific implications of the account. Imposing multiple layers of meaning likely makes the issue more complicated than it needs to be. When I get a chance tomorrow I will post what I personally believe and hopefully shed some light on the issue from the viewpoint of a Christian of over 35 years who has a biology degree that comes with 40 credit hours in history.
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Old 09-29-2009, 01:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Creationism.

Namaste and welcome jfl,
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfl View Post
Boiling down the Bible’s creation account to a question of whether or not it is literal likely misses the true historical, theological and scientific implications of the account. Imposing multiple layers of meaning likely makes the issue more complicated than it needs to be. When I get a chance tomorrow I will post what I personally believe and hopefully shed some light on the issue from the viewpoint of a Christian of over 35 years who has a biology degree that comes with 40 credit hours in history.
I'll be interested in your differentiation between a literal account and a historical account.

But please note, when we discount the literal, it automatically emphasizes the other interpretations it does not miss them, tis the allegory, the mythology, the societal implications, the theology that comes thru...
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Creationism.

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Originally Posted by wil View Post
Namaste and welcome jfl, I'll be interested in your differentiation between a literal account and a historical account.

But please note, when we discount the literal, it automatically emphasizes the other interpretations it does not miss them, tis the allegory, the mythology, the societal implications, the theology that comes thru...
This is a portion of a larger set of articles of faith that I have prepared. The United States Christian Commission was a Christian-based relief organization that was founded during the U.S. Civil War to minister to the spiritual and physical needs of American soldiers and sailors. Ever since college I have wanted to set up an organization that would be similar to the Salvation Army in organization, but far more comprehensive than the Salvation Army in scope. The original Christian Commission had no military features as far as I can document, but I am using the name for lack of anything better.

B. Creation
1. Ex Nihilo Creation
The United States Christian Commission accepts the ex nihilo creation of the universe and all that it contains on faith without reliance on any scientific evidence in that there is no way to scientifically test, by experimentation, any explanation for the origin or the unrecorded history of the universe or anything contained therein, and thus beliefs pertaining to the origin or the unrecorded history of anything in creation constitute a faith system that cannot be adequately examined by science.
2. Microevolution
While reserving the right to review the issue as the Holy may direct The United States Christian Commission makes no definitive declaration regarding microevolution in that the uncertainty as to the taxonomic level indicated by “kind” in Genesis 1:11 and Genesis 1:22 together with insufficient scientific observation of species in nature leave open the possibility of speciation through natural selection within the genetic boundaries created at the genus taxonomic level.
3. Macroevolution
The United States Christian Commission utterly rejects the possibility of macroevolution by any mechanism in that there is no irrefutable observational evidence and absolutely no experimental evidence for the origin of taxonomic levels higher than the genus.
4. The Christian Worldview
The United States Christian Commission maintains that Christianity and Evolutionism are mutually exclusive faith systems, with the acceptance of either one not being the natural consequence of rejecting the other so that The United States Christian Commission implores its officers, personnel and members to examine Evolutionism in order to gain an understanding sufficient to distinguish Christianity from it with no obligation to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ by disputing Evolutionism.
5. The Issue of Age
a. Faith
The United States Christian Commission makes no declaration regarding the age of the universe or when life originated on earth as matters of faith to the extent that the Bible does not unequivocally explain when God began His creative acts or otherwise indicate their duration with any degree of precision.
b. Science
The United States Christian Commission laments the abuse of science by anyone who seeks evidence for what they accept as matters of faith regarding the age of the universe or the origin of life therein in that such matters are not subject to observation sufficient for the design of a controlled experiment necessary to scientifically test any hypothesis pertaining to the age of the universe or the origin of life therein.
c. Observation
The United States Christian Commission makes no doctrinal declaration regarding the duration or the nature of the days recorded in the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis in that there is archaeological, documentary and observational evidence indicating that the earth has not always had solar days of twenty-four hours or solar years of three-hundred sixty-five and one-quarter days.
d. Death
The United States Christian Commission does not recognize, acknowledge or otherwise pay homage to a god of death in that physical death for all living things in creation is the inseparable consequence of the spiritual death that entered God’s created realm as a consequence of Satan’s sinful rebellion against God so that neither sin, nor death, existed within God’s created realm at any time prior to the completion of God’s creative acts in accordance with the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis.
6. Noah’s Flood
The United States Christian Commission recognizes that the issue of Noah’s Flood, recorded in the sixth through the eighth chapters of the Book of Genesis, is inextricably connected with the issue of the origin and age of the universe and the living things contained therein so that The United States Christian Commission encourages the officers, personnel and members thereof to study the issue of Noah’s Flood so that they may gain greater insight into the historical and scientific implications of the event and thereby illuminate their faith.
a. Extent
The United States Christian Commission accepts Noah’s flood as a worldwide event in which the entire surface of the earth was covered by water sufficient to cause the death of all humans, animals, plants and other organisms that were dependent on aerobic environments outside of the sanctuary that was provided by the ark which was prepared by Noah at God’s direction as recorded in Genesis 6:14.
b. The Genesis Record
The United States Christian Commission accepts the narrative of the Book of Genesis as sufficient evidence for Noah’s Flood in that the Genesis record pertains to the geological conditions that prevailed at the time of the Flood and must be considered in that context and to the extent that archaeology, paleontology and the historical record can illuminate and explain it.
c. The Geological Record
The United States Christian Commission accepts the validity of biological, physical and chemical processes as they have been observed within the context of human history and to the extent that the sum of such processes since the beginning of God’s creative acts in Genesis 1:1 to the present time is sufficient to effect the earth’s current physical state and the fossil record without regard to any requirement of time for such processes.

C. The Fall of Man
1. Satan
The United States Christian Commission holds the Lord God blameless of all evil in that the archangel Lucifer, driven by jealously of God’s creative power as it was culminated with the creation of human beings in the image of God, lead one-third of the host of Heaven in rebellion against God whereupon Lucifer was transformed into Satan and his angelic followers transformed into demons.
2. Original Sin
The United States Christian Commission makes no declaration regarding original sin but acknowledges the sinful nature that is inherent in the descendants of Adam and Eve, whereby human beings, by nature, reject the guidance of the Lord God and thereby are capable of committing any and all other acts of sin when left to their own devices.
3. Free Will
The United States Christian Commission rejects all doctrines of predestination whereby individuals have no say in their eternal destiny so that each human individual has the free will to continue in his sinful nature and thereby reject the guidance of the Lord God, or to submit to God’s guidance with a sincere repentance and utter repudiation of his sinful nature.
4. The Penalty for Sin
a. The Curse of Sin
The United States Christian Commission recognizes physical death as the penalty for sin that falls upon all living things in the natural realm so that the curse of mankind’s sin permeates the whole of God’s physical creation.
b. Spiritual Death
The United States Christian Commission recognizes spiritual death and eternal separation in Hell from the Lord God as the punishment for any human who persists in his sinful nature and thereby rejects the salvation that is offered by faith in the atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ.
5. Atonement
a. Sacrifice Under Mosaic Law
The United States Christian Commission acknowledges that all living things on earth are subject to physical death because of sin, but holds that human beings are the only living things on earth that are capable of sinning because they are the only living things on earth with the conscious will that allows them to repent of their sinful nature so that the sacrificial death of animals has nothing but symbolic value to emphasize and impress on mankind the seriousness of sin without providing any atonement for sin.
b. Culpability of Jesus Christ
The United States Christian Commission holds that the Lord Jesus Christ, as a human being is fully capable of committing any and all acts of sin because of the sinful nature that is inherent in all human beings.
c. Innocence of Jesus Christ
The United States Christian Commission holds that the Lord Jesus Christ, as God, is innocent and blameless of any and all sin of His own commission and thus is a suitable sacrifice for the atonement of any and all of mankind’s sin.
d. Sacrificial Atonement
The United States Christian Commission holds that the Lord Jesus Christ, being blameless of any and all sin, has paid the penalty for any and all sin in that He was crucified unto physical death, whereupon He was entombed and thereafter resurrected from death in both body and soul.
e. The Offer of Salvation
The United States Christian Commission holds that the Lord God extends His grace to all human beings as a free gift that cannot be purchased or earned by any individual or collective action on man’s part so that anyone can claim upon faith that in the atoning sacrifice and bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ they have remission of their sins and thereby shall have eternal life in the Lord God’s presence.

Note: I don’t see how you can have either a totally literal or a totally figurative interpretation of the Genesis account if you don’t have full knowledge of what the language of Genesis means or if you don’t have a fully complete observational record of the earth’s origins and history.

I used Roman numeral outline format for this material. I don’t know how well it will display here.

Last edited by jfl; 09-30-2009 at 12:48 AM. Reason: formatting
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:16 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Creationism.

I'd say we've come a long way since the United States Christian Commission. But it definitely evidences a creationist viewpoint 150 years ago...
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Creationism.

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Originally Posted by wil View Post
I'd say we've come a long way since the United States Christian Commission. But it definitely evidences a creationist viewpoint 150 years ago...
What I posted isn't from the original Christian Commission. It is my own. The organization I envision is only theoretical since I don't have the money needed to put the plan in operation. The Christian Commission does not exist today apart from various Civil War re-enactors' groups.

Scientists today have far greater capabilities than they had in the 1860s as far as observational tools and techniques are concerned. But scientists today are just as limited today as they were 150 years ago when it comes to applying the scientific method, i.e., experimentation, to hypotheses mean to explain the origins of the universe, the earth or the life therein. Creation science is not science any more than Darwinism is. They both accept as true things that cannot be proven, thus they are both forms of religion.
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Creationism.

I thought that most of the emphasis upon literal 7 day creation really got going in the 60's about the same time that The Genesis Flood was published. Before that time, Creationism-Evolutionism was something a little more tempered with back and forth dialogue. Perhaps it was rapid series of chemical and mathematical breakthroughs leading up to the 1960's which really whipped the dialogue into a big deal. Maybe I'm wrong. I know there was the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1926; but it just seems like things were really getting hot in the 60's. 150 years ago both evolutionism and creationism were making different arguments than they are now. It was the creationists like Pasteur who argued against spontaneous generation of life. Maybe the title of Creationist did a little bit of a flip flop, like 'Republican' and 'Democrat' can do from time to time. Today's evolutionists do not really accept spontaneous generation; so they have something in common with the early Creationists. Actually, today's evolutionists would not think of spontaneous generation as part of the evolutionary theory, except as an idea placeholder until something better came. The major contrast now is that Evolutionists do not ascribe a magical element to human chemistry, whereas creationists do. Slightly less than 100 years ago it was broadly believed by most everybody that natural human chemicals could not be synthesized for lack of an 'Active' component. Creationists do not make that claim, because they no longer can. Evolutionists do not claim spontaneous generation, because they no longer can. That much has changed as now human chemicals are produced all of the time without any care taken to introduce anything other than chemical processes; and elaborate theories and mathematical models are now put forward and researched to explain what could possibly generate cells and life.
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Creationism.

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Originally Posted by jfl View Post
Creation science is not science any more than Darwinism is. They both accept as true things that cannot be proven, thus they are both forms of religion.
While I won't argue science with you as I've noticed there is no discussing science with folks that feel carbon 14 data is flawed and they have proof of such things as dinosaurs and man foot prints in the same fossil...

I do find it interesting you discount science as a religion and therefor unprovable....what then does that make a religion?

And as you are a creationist, I take it you are also an American, born and bred, as the original post postulates?
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Creationism.

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Originally Posted by Dream View Post
I thought that most of the emphasis upon literal 7 day creation really got going in the 60's about the same time that The Genesis Flood was published.


One of the hallmarks of Christian fundamentalism is a literal interpretation of the Bible, thus a literal 7 24-hour day creation week. Christian Fundamentalism began around the turn of the 20th century. It was a belated reaction to the Darwinian takeover of both science and Anglo-American Christianity whose clergy had pretty much accepted Darwinís theory. Fundamentalism was a reaction to mainstream clergy who had accepted Darwinian ideas about geology (the age of the earth and the rejection of Eden and Adam and Eve) even if they didnít also accept Darwinian biology (abiogenesis and speciation by natural selection).

Quote:
Before that time, Creationism-Evolutionism was something a little more tempered with back and forth dialogue.


Actually no. And there has never really been much of a dialogue between Darwinists and young earth Creationists. Young earth creationists were not even fighting much of a rear-guard action against Darwinists in the first half-century since Darwinís Origin of Species. And since Fundamentalism began the science and academic communities have been dominated by Darwinists who go out of their way to not give Creationists any kind of public hearing. Darwinists cannot tolerate having their theories questions. They are not interested in dialogue.

Quote:
It was the creationists like Pasteur who argued against spontaneous generation of life.


Pasteurís experimental proof of biogenesis, i.e., living things can come only from pre-existing living things, came in 1959- a year before Darwinís Origins.

Quote:
Today's evolutionists do not really accept spontaneous generation;


Thatís news to this biology major. I was taught spontaneous generation in multiple science classes both in high school and college. Evolutionists you encounter on the net often try to disassociate spontaneous generation from Darwinís theory of evolution- they claim that one is not part of the other. But spontaneous generation is generally taught in conjunction with the theory of evolution in science classes.

Quote:
The major contrast now is that Evolutionists do not ascribe a magical element to human chemistry, whereas creationists do.


They both rely on things that were not fully observed by man and thus cannot be explained by science.

Quote:
Slightly less than 100 years ago it was broadly believed by most everybody that natural human chemicals could not be synthesized for lack of an 'Active' component.


If you are referring to Miller-Oparin they still canít. Even Darwinists now believe that Millerís apparatus may not have accurately modeled the earthís pre-biotic conditions. Furthermore, that apparatus was not a closed system- the organic compounds had to be removed as they were made lest they be destroyed by the same conditions that made them, and half of what Millerís apparatus produced did not have any biological potential; organic compounds have a property known as chirality where the same compound has two forms that are mirror images of each other. Only one form has ever been found in living things, and to my knowledge scientists have no explanation for why this is- it appears to be magic.

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Evolutionists do not claim spontaneous generation,


Yes they do.
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:09 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Creationism.

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Originally Posted by wil View Post
While I won't argue science with you as I've noticed there is no discussing science with folks that feel carbon 14 data is flawed and they have proof of such things as dinosaurs and man foot prints in the same fossil...


This is rather closed-minded of someone who wishes to discuss science. What are you afraid of? Even Darwinists refuse to rely on carbon-14 in some applications, and radiocarbon dates donít always agree with dates suggested by written historical records.

Quote:
I do find it interesting you discount science as a religion and therefor unprovable....what then does that make a religion?


I am not discounting science, but rather the presentation of ideas that have no experimental proof as scientific data. You seem to have developed a habit of not actually reading what I am posting.

Quote:
And as you are a creationist, I take it you are also an American, born and bred, as the original post postulates?


What difference would this make?
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Old 09-30-2009, 04:35 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Creationism.

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Originally Posted by jfl View Post
What difference would this make?
IWhat difference does it make???? It is the whole discussion topic of this thread. That the rest of the world does not have the creationist bent that the US has. Christians in Italy, Jerusalem, Europe....don't have these ideas that you and I grew up with.
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:58 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Creationism.

Hi Wil ó

You might want to include the 'End Times' and 'Rapture' ideas that seem unique to the US also ... I think it stems from the same place. Displaced nationalism.

Thomas
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:45 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Creationism.

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Hi Wil ó

You might want to include the 'End Times' and 'Rapture' ideas that seem unique to the US also ... I think it stems from the same place. Displaced nationalism.

Thomas
Is that so?? So all this the end is near stuff is specific to us as well?

I mean it is my understanding that the apostles and nearly every generation since thought they would be alive for the second coming, but this is also something that hasn't happened repeatedly in Europe as well?

And please expound on how nationalism got involved in it, and still....anyone know when this started??

note I mistakenly indicated that jfl identified it as pre civil war...we have yet to hear any confirmation of this.

I do know that the furvor we have over 'In G!d we trust' is fairly new.
Quote:
Almost a century and a half ago, eleven Protestant denominations mounted a campaign to add references to God to the U.S. Constitution and other federal documents. Rev. M.R. Watkinson of Ridleyville PA was the first of many to write a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase in 1861 to promote this concept. 2 Watkinson suggested the words "God, Liberty, Law." 3 In 1863, Chase asked the Director of the Mint, James Pollock to prepare suitable wording for a motto to be used on Union coins used during the Civil War. Pollock suggested "Our Trust Is In God," "Our God And Our Country," "God And Our Country," and "God Our Trust." Chase picked "In God We Trust" to be used on some of the government's coins. The phrase was a subtle reminder that the Union considered itself on God's side with respect to slavery. Congress passed enabling legislation. Since a 1837 Act of Congress specified the mottos and devices that were to be placed on U.S. coins, it was necessary to pass another Act to enable the motto to be added. This was done on 1886-APR-22. "The motto has been in continuous use on the one-cent coin since 1909, and on the ten-cent coin since 1916. It also has appeared on all gold coins and silver dollar coins, half-dollar coins, and quarter-dollar coins struck since" 1908-JUL-1. 3
Decades later, Theodore Roosevelt disapproved of the motto. In a letter to William Boldly on 1907-NOV-11, he wrote:
"My own feeling in the matter is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins, or to use it in any kindred manner, not only does no good but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence, which comes dangerously close to sacrilege...It is a motto which it is indeed well to have inscribed on our great national monuments, in our temples of justice, in our legislative halls, and in building such as those at West Point and Annapolis -- in short, wherever it will tend to arouse and inspire a lofty emotion in those who look thereon. But it seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen it by use on postage stamps, or in advertisements."
In 1956, the nation was suffering through the height of the cold war, and the McCarthy communist witch hunt. Partly in reaction to these factors, the 84th Congress passed a joint resolution to replace the existing motto with "In God we Trust." The president signed the resolution into law on 1956-JUL-30. .....
During the 1950's the federal government's references to God multiplied:
  • The phrase "under God" was added to the otherwise secular Pledge of Allegiance.
  • "So help me God" was added as a suffix to the oaths of office for federal justices and judges. However, they are not compelled to recite the words. There has been a widespread belief that every president since George Washington has said these words during his inauguration. The belief appears to be without merit.
  • American paper currency since 1957 has included the motto "In God We Trust."
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